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Murky Waters for the Crystal Lagoon

Spotlight on Community

High Hopes for Bayside

Just about a year ago I sat in an MLS meeting and shared the excitement of great expectations with real estate professionals from our community. The developer of Bayside in Rowlett was there to share his vision for the development. Crystal Lagoon Show fountain, white sand beach, upscale restaurants, premium resort facilities - it was all going to be so wonderful for our lakeside communities.

We were assured we'd soon see houses coming up on the north side of I-30 and shortly after that they'd start excavating the fountain on the south side. We did see activity on the north side, but nothing that looked like houses coming up. In fact, the first distinguishable building didn't come for months and it seemed to be a parking lot.

Too Quiet for Comfort

By February rumors began to flow and the Dallas Morning News published an article warning that plans for the Crystal Lagoon didn't look good. A Bayside rep had said, that "compelling water features" were still in the plans, but not the Crystal Lagoon. By April, even I was aware that things weren't going as planned. I wrote a post citing the Morning News article and did a little speculating of my own.

Then last month I attended one of my usual MLS meetings and the mayor of Rowlett assured us none of the plans had officially changed. She was very gracious to the Bayside development team, warning us that on a project of this size, needs did change over time and the city was willing to work through issues with their partners in the project. Even so, she also said the city was firm in their commitment to the promise of the original plans.

Farewell Fountain Et Al?

According to their website, "The City of Rowlett did not see a comprehensive proposal of the changes to the approved vision until July 10, 2018." An Executive Committee of the City Council met on the 17th and on the 26th, they considered the developer's proposed changes which included -no Crystal Lagoon, no beach and no trolleys. Uch oh!

On August 7th, the City Coucil met again and here's the official statement:

“We have adjourned the Executive Session and there is no formal action to be taken at this time. Contrary to published reports, the City has not scheduled a news conference. This is our public statement regarding the Bayside project.

City Council is not in agreement with the plan presented on July 26. Bayside is a legacy project. We have to do this right. The stakes are too high.

Council is seeking additional information from the developer to see if collaboration is possible.

We will continue to keep the public informed.”

I'll leave it at that.

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